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Have a Wonderful Walk Cursive Penmanship e-book

By Joy Marie Dunlap
LightHome Publications

27695 Blue Diamond Lane
Romoland, CA 92585-901

Have a Wonderful Walk is a 52-page book of copywork for grades 4-9. But it's more than that--it's a celebration of family, nature, and enjoying the world around us. Your students will practice handwriting, but you will be inspired (and your kids will be begging you) to get outside with your family!

The book comes as an e-book in PDF format; after paying for it, you simply download it to your computer and print out what you need. It's immediately available, and you have no shipping charges! There are 26 pages of handwriting practice, one for each letter of the alphabet. Here's what's on the Z page:

Because we often walk for miles, just for the enjoyment of the walk, we bring backpacks full of zip pockets. In them, we keep zip bags of snacks, water bottles, and baby wipes in case of messes. Whenever we stop somewhere, there is a buzzing of many zippers. Out come binoculars for seeing birds close up, field guides to identify them, and pen, paper and clipboards to record our discoveries.

Some other page themes are Climbing, Leaf Crunching, Parks and Picnics, and Equipment (for Q--clever!). A unique feature of this e-book is the illustrations, many of which are photographs of the Dunlap family enjoying the outdoors over the years. They're having so much fun that you want to join them. The pages resemble a scrapbook with varied layouts. The color photos may use a lot of ink to print, so you might want to print in black and white.

After the handwriting pages there is even more goodness. For additional practice, there are three blank sheets of lined paper, with outdoor photographs, in three sizes of guidelines. Next is a 10-page book-within-a-book on taking walks: a page of inspiring songs, Bible verses, and poems (the author suggests reciting or singing these on your walks), as well as ideas and motivation to create your own wonderful walks (why walk, what to bring, where to go, practical considerations, and even how to deal with quarreling). So practical and down-to-earth!

For cursive practice, the model sentences are in a basic cursive font. It's not too slanted, not too loopy, and very easy to read. The copywork passages are fun and fascinating reading, with eight to nine lines for copying below. One drawback might be that the guidelines are very small. They are even smaller than the model text. I found them a bit difficult to write on myself. This could be hard for younger students. Note that there is no cursive instruction in this copybook.

How do you use this book? First and foremost, read it yourself to get fresh ideas for enjoying the outdoors as a family. Then give it to your kids for handwriting practice! There are many ways to make it fit your school. You can print only the sheets you need as you need them. Another option might be to print them all out, store them in a folder, and hand them out as needed. You can also print them all and make them into a book, hole punching and inserting them into a report cover or binder, or stapling them with a heavy-duty stapler. I printed mine on regular white printer paper, and it seems durable enough for writing. It seems to me that printing them all out at once is the best way to make sure you don't forget about them. I absolutely love the convenience of e-books and have downloaded many to my computer, but I do find that I forget about them if I don't print them right away.

This copybook is a very large file. Be patient when downloading, and make sure your Internet connection doesn't time out or "crash" or you'll have to start over. It took me several tries to get my copy downloaded, but it was worth the effort! I just love this copybook, and I know you will too.

Product review by Jennifer Loucks, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, August 2009

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